Monday, 19 July 2010

Round 2 result: All Blacks 31-17 Springboks

The All Blacks underlined their recent excellent form with another emphatic win over the Springboks on Saturday. They came out and continued from where they left off in the previous match, playing with confidence, enthusiasm and an intensity that the Springboks just couldn't contain at times.

The Springboks were better than last week, but weren't helped when lock Danie Rossouw was sent to the sin bin within the first five minutes for an innocuous tap on the head of Richie McCaw for killing the ball at a ruck. The ref was obviously keen to stamp his authority on the match early on, but the South Africans were clearly unsettled by the event and conceded two tries in the subsequent ten minutes. They can be grateful Dan Carter left his kicking boots at home or the score would have been far worse. As it is they started to come back into the game just before half time, but it was always an uphill battle.

As it was, if anyone deserved to spend some time in the sin bin it was McCaw himself, for repeated infringements at the ruck. At one point he was given an official warning, but the ref failed to back up his threat when McCaw infringed again just a few minutes later. No doubt he's still one of the best open-siders around, but he does seem to get away with a lot.

Although they'll be disappointed with another loss to the All Blacks, the Springboks will take heart from their second half performance. They looked a lot more fluent and threatening, particularly when Ruan Pienaar replaced Ricky Januarie at scrum half - with his snappy service and better kicking game he definitely deserves a start in the next match. But it must be at scrum half, which is his best position - not flyhalf or fullback.

The All Blacks now have a week off, while the Springboks prepare themselves for a must-win encounter with the Wallabies in Brisbane.

No comments:

Post a Comment